Top-performing distribution utilities from across Ontario were honoured at the EDA Awards Gala on March 30. Our annual program acknowledges an array of key accomplishments, outstanding customer service and environmental programs, and innovations and best practices on the part of the companies that deliver the Power of Local Hydro across Ontario.
Over 400 guests were on-hand at our gala celebration at the Fairmont Royal York as the EDA’s Board Chair Bryce Conrad, President and CEO of Hydro Ottawa, announced the EDA award winners.
Congratulations to the following winners:
The Local Distribution Company (LDC) Performance Excellence Award recognizes outstanding performance in occupational health and safety, operations, finance, conservation, and contributions to the community. This year it was awarded to London Hydro for: developing an employee program to help improve the health and wellness of employees and their families; maintaining reliability by regulating the downtown core’s distribution system and introducing powerline carrier technology to enhance grid visibility and control; demonstrating conservation excellence by achieving outstanding results in 2021; and donating over $14,000 to local charities that support Indigenous programs, local food banks and holiday giving programs.
The Public Electrical Safety Excellence Award, sponsored by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), was awarded to Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro for revamping its electrical safety program for grade five and six schoolteachers to create awareness of the importance of electrical safety, and to encourage students to also share this information with their families at home.
The Communications Excellence Award was presented jointly to Brantford Power and Energy+ for engaging customers with an informational campaign about a potential merger between these two local hydro utilities. They wanted to make sure that customers and the community were well-informed prior to the decision being made, and created a robust and transparent outreach campaign with a custom website, bill inserts for customers, stakeholder resources, e-blasts, social media messaging and eight different media releases within the local communities.
The Customer Service Excellence award was presented to Hydro Ottawa for its battery loan program, which helped reduce the inconvenience of extended planned outages impacting customers – emulating a concierge experience for the customer by offering them a portable battery pack drop-off and pick-up service directly to the customer’s home.
The Environmental Excellence Award was presented to Oakville Hydro for outstanding efforts to help customers reduce their carbon footprint through partnerships and programming. This LDC has constructed the first mobile battery energy storage system, which has the ability to displace traditional fossil fuels generated by providing reactive power when local generation is needed. It also converted almost 2,000 customers to paperless billing; and launched a remote work program, which reduced average employee commute distance and produced a calculated reduction of 74,000 kg of CO2 being emitted into the environment.
The Innovation Excellence Award was presented to Lakeland Power Distribution Inc. for developing solutions to modernize the electricity grid using advanced grid modelling, system planning and distributed energy resources (DERs) management systems to increase visibility and control. The utility developed two innovation projects that prove that microgrid technology is a scalable improvement to the grid and also provides visual control and value to LDCs, managing the underlying local energy system while optimally integrating diverse DERs as they participate in the energy markets.
The Public Relations Excellence Award was presented to Hydro One for its new awareness program which supports charities and local community organizations who are putting the safety and wellbeing of Ontarians at the forefront. By providing grants of up to $25,000 each to 35 charitable organizations, municipalities, and Indigenous communities across Ontario, Hydro One helped to build safe communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. It launched a multi-channel campaign including customer communications, community events, media outreach, a social media contest, social and digital advertising, as well as employee engagement and communications.
The EDA’s newly introduced Volunteer Excellence Award was presented to Falguni Shah, Vice President of Technology and Innovation at Elexicon Energy Inc. in recognition of outstanding support and perseverance in advancing the association’s policy positions. Shah is an active and dedicated member of the EDA having served on the Operations and Engineering Council since 2013, sharing her expertise and knowledge with other members.
A Chair’s Citation, in Memory of Robert H. Hay, for individual achievement was presented to Robert Mace, formerly of SYNERGY NORTH, for outstanding service to the EDA and the electricity distribution sector over a long period of time. Mace is an accomplished executive with three decades of extensive experience in Ontario’s electricity industry.
Congratulations to all our award winners and nominees.